Contributed by Rev. Kazuo Takami
On Sunday, September 25, one week after the national 40th anniversary event of the Washington Monument Rally, the Honolulu Family Church hosted a Marriage Blessing Ceremony at the Campus Center Ballroom of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Around 60 people attended the program, and two couples received the Marriage Blessing, Mr. Ransey Rense and Miss Roslind Kelen, a couple from Marshall Island, and Mr. Paul and Dr. Estrella Taong, a married couple from the Philippines.
Ransey and Roslind had been taken care of by second-generation Unificationist, Takaaki Ito. Takaaki had been visiting their home almost once a week over the last several months and taught them the Divine Principle. Paul and Estrella are a relative of Honolulu Family Church member, Julie Kawasaki. When Julie and her husband, Teiji, introduced the Marriage Blessing to them, the couple immediately felt heaven’s call and decided to rededicate their marriage through the Blessing Ceremony.
The Blessing Ceremony was officiated by Hawaii District Pastor couple Rev. Kazuo and Mrs. Hiromi Takami. The program was smoothly guided by the emcee, Dr. Jeff Nakama, Universal Peace Federation (UPF) Hawaii coordinator. In the beginning of the program, Rev. Ernie Ho, assistant pastor of Honolulu Family Church, lectured on the significance of the Marriage Blessing and later in the program, explained about the Five Steps to receive the Marriage Blessing, including a demonstration of the Chastening Ceremony.
These two couples joyfully received the Holy Wine on the stage and followed all the procedures of the Blessing Ceremony, including the Chastening Ceremony at the end of the program.
After the program, all the families and friends enjoyed the celebration dinner to congratulate the couples’ new phase of their married lives. Many participants shared about their experience very positively. Estrella Taong commented, “This was the best gift I ever received.” At least two guests who just came to observe the program said that they would like to be Blessed next time.
This was the first Blessing Ceremony open to the public held by the Honolulu Family Church in many years. It was a wonderful fruit of members’ outreach efforts and Tribal Messiahship activities. To our community, it is a great ground-breaking event for the next four-year course of the Vision 2020.